For Diana Jimenez, Helping Carrington Students Launch their Careers is a Passion
Diana Jimenez knows firsthand what it takes to launch a successful career.
After working for five years as a receptionist at an animal hospital, she became a transaction coordinator for a real estate agency. In 2015, Diana joined the team at Carrington College’s Mesa, Arizona campus as an administrative assistant. She became a Career Services Advisor three years later, and in 2019 she graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
Diana now serves as a Senior Career Services Advisor at Carrington, coaching, guiding, and supporting students through the process of landing an externship, creating effective resumes, developing strong interviewing skills, and securing jobs in their chosen fields.
“I currently advise 210 students,” says Diana. “Some are just starting their programs, while others are graduating and are pursuing their first jobs in their new profession. Our entire Career Services team is also available to our alumni whenever they reach out to us. I’m interacting with students, faculty, and employers all day. It’s a fast-paced, stimulating environment—and I love it.”
We talked with Diana about the pace and variety of her job, the skills she helps students develop, and how she thinks students and graduates can benefit most from interacting with Carrington’s Career Services team.
What do you like most about your work as Senior Career Services Advisor?
I love knowing that what I do provides a direct benefit to students. We not only prepare them for their future careers by providing practical support such as resume writing and mock interview sessions, but we also connect them with prospective employers for externships and job opportunities. Students really appreciate having someone in their corner, doing what we can to help them succeed. Employers also like working with us because our students typically show a lot of initiative and prove to be great employees.
I also appreciate the overall culture and energy at the Mesa campus. The faculty and staff here are committed to helping students succeed. It’s a positive, upbeat place to be. Carrington feels like a second home to me. We’re a family, a team, and I really love being a part of what happens here.
You’re a Certified Professional Resume Writer. How do you use that skill in your job?
A student’s resume is often the first chance they have to make a good impression on a prospective employer. When I took my resume writing certification program, I learned so much that I’m able to share with students. There are so many misconceptions about what a good resume looks like. The biggest mistake people make is that they’re tempted to write their life stories rather than provide a concise overview of their educational and occupational highlights. The purpose of a resume isn’t to get you the job—it’s to get you an interview.
The mock interviews you conduct with students sound intriguing. How do they work, and how can students benefit by participating in them?
Many of the students I work with have very little experience in interviewing for a job. I coach and prepare to interview successfully. We focus on how to highlight their relevant background and experience, and how to answer questions so they provide the information the employer wants to know. When people are nervous, it’s easy to talk a lot but not actually answer the question.
We also go over basics, like allowing plenty of time to get to an interview so they’re not stressed out before it even starts. Another thing we discuss is dressing appropriately for the interview. I’ve heard of candidates being eliminated from consideration because they’ve arrived for a job interview wearing ripped jeans. These are easy mistakes to avoid, but if you don’t have a lot of experience, they can also be easy mistakes to make.
It sounds like you enjoy the pace and variety of your job. What do you do to relax?
As a single mom of a 12-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter, I don’t have much time to relax. But that’s fine because I’m pretty active and adventurous. If I’m not hiking or ax throwing, I’m going to baseball games with the kids or singing at karaoke. I enjoy staying busy.
How do you think students benefit most from interacting with you and your colleagues in Career Services?
In addition to helping students develop practical skills, we also provide them with an inside track by recommending them to recruiters. We know many of the employers in their field, and we’re committed to connecting them with employers we think would be a good fit for their backgrounds and personalities. Before I book interviews for a graduate, I’ll often talk with their program director so I have a good understanding of that graduate’s skills and strengths. That’s important information, because not every job is a good fit for every student.
A big part of what I do is create connections and build relationships that benefit not only our students but the employers who hire them. I can be a very enthusiastic cheerleader. I reach out to employers after an interview to see how it went. There have been times when I’ve recommended a graduate for a position and, for whatever reason, they just don’t have a great interview. I’ll get feedback from the employer so that the graduate can learn from the experience and not make the same mistakes in the future.
If I feel strongly that a graduate would be a real asset and a great fit for them, I’ll sometimes even urge an employer to reconsider and give them a second interview.
My job is helping students find a place where they can contribute, grow, and use the knowledge and skills they developed during their programs here at Carrington. When their hard work pays off and graduates get their first jobs in a profession they’ve prepared for, I love seeing the excitement on their faces.